Seventh-day Adventists: the name highlights two beliefs that reflect two core Christian values important to the Church The second coming (or advent) of Jesus expresses the vital hope of the Church; the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) emphasizes the Biblical day of worship of the Creator and Savior of the world.
Belief in Action
The most important truth Adventists want to share is a belief in the trustworthy and gracious God of the Bible. Adventists believe in God as Creator, as Savior, but most of all as both Friend and Lord; the God who values most highly the freedom of His created beings, to whom He offers salvation in the present and eternal life in the soon-coming future.
As a result, Adventists place great emphasis on different aspects of human freedom and responsibility, including:
- religious liberty and human rights
- humanitarian aid and development
- better lifestyles
- health and wholeness
- education and personal growth
- social issues and community involvement
Adventists see their adherence to these values as a way of illustrating both faith in the God who cares intimately about every one of Earth inhabitants, and the church commitment to the betterment of fellow human beings.
A Worldwide People
The Adventist Church is active in 205 of the 230 countries recognized by the United Nations. High concentrations of Adventists are found in Central and South America, East and West Africa, the Philippines and many other areas. In composition, 39 percent of Adventists are African, 30 percent Hispanic, 14 percent East Asian and 11 percent Caucasian.
A Growing People
Adventist Church membership is growing at the rate of almost one million every year, with new members joining the Church at the rate of one every 35 seconds. Globally the church is doubling every twelve years, with a current baptized membership of 11 million.
People with a Global Mission
Adventists believe in sharing beliefs and values and recognize the importance of telling others of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. The church Global Mission initiative attempts to communicate this message through seminars and outreach programs, the church medical mission and education system, and through pastors and members who dedicate their lives service to others.
Aid to Humanity
Through organizations like the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International and other programs, the Adventist Church reaches out to provide practical help to those affected by the disaster and requiring development assistance. This aid is provided without discrimination to all those in need and includes food aid, medical supplies, equipment, and building materials, as well as educational programs and facilities, drug-awareness, social action, and agricultural development.
Educating and individual development
The Adventist Church is committed to making education accessible in as many areas of the world as possible. Education, the church, believes, results in a better-trained society and helps individuals reach their full potential. At the heart of the Adventist worldwide educational system is the conviction that every individual needs to have the opportunity to study and to grow. The Adventist education program now has more than one million students in over 5,500 schools, colleges, and universities-making it the largest Protestant educational system in the world.
Recognizing the benefits of modem technology, the Adventist Church has a wide network of satellite downlinks and regular satellite broadcasts; a highly-developed radio ministry broadcasting in more than 40 languages, and an extensive range of Web sites on the Internet. The church official Web site www.adventist.org receives over 500,000 unique visitors per year.
Not only concerned with spiritual health, but Adventists also promote a vegetarian lifestyle free from alcohol, smoking, and the use of illegal drugs. The world-renown Stop Smoking programs operated by the Church have allowed hundreds of thousands of people to quit the habit, while many others have been helped to a healthier lifestyle through seminars and nutrition programs.
The Adventist Church has made many contributions to health and wholeness through its extensive medical ministry, operating 162 hospitals and sanitariums and more than 300 clinics worldwide. The Church Loma Linda University Medical Center is world-famous for its heart transplant program and the newly-developed but already highly-effective Proton Treatment Center which uses high-speed protons to attack a number of cancers with greater precision than traditional treatments.
Love in Action
Adventists value the opportunity to share their faith through actions in the service of others, recognizing the Bible words: Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18 NIV).